Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and handed out nine assists on Monday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder destroyed the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 119-90 in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.
Though the Lakers lead early in the first quarter, the Thunder entered the halftime break with a 15-point lead and opened the third period with a 15-2 run that set the pace of the game from then on.
“From then on, it was cruising for us,” Westbrook said after his team’s blowout win. “When our team plays like that throughout the game, we put ourselves in a good opportunity to win.”
Adding to Westbrook’s impressive performance was OKC Forward Kevin Durant, who dropped 25 points and pulled down eight boards and Thunder Sixth Man of the Year winner James Harden, who scored 17 points.
Oklahoma’s only dark spot of the night came in the third quarter when starting center Kendrick Perkins appeared to re-aggravate the hip injury he sustained during the first round of the playoffs. Just two minutes into the 2nd half, Perkins went up for a dunk, then came down awkwardly and immediately left for the locker room. He later returned to the bench but did not play.
For the Lakers, center Andrew Bynum finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks and Kobe Bryant, who sat most of the 4th quarter, scored 20 points with 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
“We need to make adjustments,” said Bynum in a post game interview. “We have a lot of tape to watch. We have to see exactly how they killed us and then try and correct it.”
Game 2 of the Lakers vs Thunder best-of-7 series is in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
Check out highlights of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 119-90 blowout victory over the Lakers in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals below: